Wolfgang Steinmann

The Thane of Evenruud

The owl roosts in the chimney now,
The goblet fills with dew,
The roof rests on the floor somehow,
The moon is paling through.
And in the pantry grows the grass:
Here lived the Thane of Evenruud!

- - - -

It was …
when day to night had turned
The goblet filled with wine,
The fires in the chimney burned,
The roof was strong and fine;
The pantry burst with grain and fowl:
For mighty Thane of Evenruud!

The forests teemed with boar and bear,
The streams with trout untold.
And in the summer's setting glare
The fields were painted gold.
The farmers danced the harvest hop
And blessed the Thane of Evenruud.

The winter came. The hearth was lit.
The fires burned so red.
The fowl was roasting on the spit
The grain was made to bread.
Now raise the glass and drink his health:
"The noble Thane of Evenruud!"

Beneath the snow the rivers froze.
The boar was skin and bone.
One ember left … the fire rose
And left but ash and stone.
To feed her house the mother went
To beg the Thane of Evenruud.

"Me lass is frail, me lad is scared
For death stands at the door!
Please, give us food, the fire spared
Your walls and oaken floor."
He looks at her, he licks his lips
The lecher Thane of Evenruud.

He feeds the dog who sits along,
The mother gathers crumbs.
"Your lass is frail … but you are strong …
… and when the evening comes …
Be not afraid and open wide …
For the Thane of Evenruud!"

She took the ham, she took the bread,
Her lad and lass to keep.
And when the spouse had gone to bed
She listened for his sleep.
The bolt undone, the door agape …
In came the Thane of Evenruud.

He entered and unsheathed his sword
The sleeping man he killed.
And as he claimed his vile reward
His lusty heart was stilled.
She did not bleed, he did not know,
The evil Thane of Evenruud!

The graveyard, but a shallow hole,
Two oxen pulled the cart,
And with his body went her soul
She buried then her heart.
She gave the children love and care
But not the Thane of Evenruud.

The widow kept the house by day
And fed the children two;
At night she with the slayer lay
And kissed his lips, untrue.
Her curse went with him when he left:
"I hate you Thane of Evenruud!

You took my husband, slew my love,
And everything I need.
I ask the Lord, my God above,
To spoil your loin and seed."
He laughed and on his steed he rode
Away the Thane of Evenruud.

The winter warmed, the river ran,
The crocus pierced the earth;
And when the robin came and sang -
She looked upon her girth:
It rounded out and slowly grew -
To be a Thane of Evenruud.

There was no one to sow the field,
No hand to guide the plow.
Her shame to everyone revealed
She took the holy vow
And asked forgiveness from the Lord -
Not for the Thane of Evenruud!

The lad and lass, they roamed the street
No shelter did they find
There was no one to give them meat
They gnawed on bone and rind.
The parson sent them on their way
To ask the Thane of Evenruud.

- - - -

High in the castle ring the bells,
The king comes from the east:
And with him ride the fops and belles
To hold a wedding feast:
The bride and groom exchange the vows:
The Thane and Lady Evenruud.

The seneschal, he fills the glass,
He serves a mutton leg.
But at the gate the lad and lass
For bread and water beg.
The jailor comes and takes them both:
So says the Thane of Evenruud!

The feast is over. It is late.
The husband takes his bride.
The bed post stands so tall and straight
Alas, his manhood died!
There are no herbs, there is no cure:
The barren Thane of Evenruud.

The doctor goes, the druid comes,
The potion boils and hisses.
The bed stays empty and he numbs
His pain with willing kisses.
As autumn comes there is no sign
Of an heir to Evenruud.

In her cell the haggard nun
Moans and lifts her gown.
From her swollen stomach run
Blood and water down.
And she swaddles and she rocks
The little Thane of Evenruud.

The castle-moat is deep and wide
The cross-bridge has been drawn.
Alas, there stands a holy bride
In the early dawn.
Asks - a bundle in her arms -
To see the Thane of Evenruud.

Loud and lewd he bursts in laughter
drunken still with whore and wine:
"In the deepest dungeon cast her -
And her bundle to the swine!"
In the swaddlings there was written:
This is a Thane of Evenruud!

In her room the lady spinning
Heard a baby cry.
But it was no new beginning -
Coming from the sty.
And she packed her trunk and wagon
Left the Thane of Evenruud.

Where the rats and mice are nesting
Deep beneath the ground,
There the lad and lass were resting
By their mother found.
Soon forgotten by the jailor:
Who where they to Evenruud?

Empty are the castle halls now
And the pantry bare.
And the pallid moonlight falls now
On an empty square.
At his table sits a lonely
Balding Thane of Evenruud.

The winter comes, the river slows,
The man sits in his chair.
The chimney cold, no fire glows,
And frozen is his stare.
The vines grow through the doors and roof
And reach the Thane of Evenruud.

- - - -

It was …
when day to night had turned
The goblet filled with wine,
The fires in the chimney burned,
The roof was strong and fine;
The pantry burst with grain and fowl:
It was the time of Evenruud!

The owl roosts in the chimney now,
The goblet fills with dew,
The roof rests on the floor somehow,
The moon is paling through.
And in the pantry grows the grass:
The House of Evenruud
… it was …


December 1, 2011

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Wolfgang Steinmann.
Published on e-Stories.org on 12/16/2011.

 

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